U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue had the right idea when he said, “Veterans and agriculture are just a great fit.”

The statement came shortly after the 2017 launch of the Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans (AgVets) program, which provides funding for education and training to help former service members find success in farming and ranching careers.

According to the USDA, pursuing a career in agriculture is a way veterans can continue serving their country even after they are discharged from the military—both by producing food and by helping to rebuild rural and urban communities.

The AgVets program is especially appealing for transitioning veterans who feel they may not fit the mold of traditional employment and are looking for something more “outside the box” of the nine-to-five workplace.

What exactly does AgVets provide?

Despite the fact that the United States is the largest agricultural exporter worldwide, farmers and ranchers make up only 2 percent of its population. American farms are disappearing, and those that remain are struggling to turn a profit.

The AgVets program hopes to renew interest in the food and farming industry and believes veterans are uniquely suited for success in agriculture jobs. AgVets provides grants to non-profit organizations committed to providing hands-on training to prepare military veterans for employment with (or ownership of) a farm or agricultural business.

Last year, grants totaling nearly $5 million were awarded to six different organizations: Recipe for Success Foundation in Texas, Servicemember Agricultural Vocation Education in Kansas, Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden in North Carolina, Farmer Veteran Coalition in California, Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship in several states, and North-South Institute in Florida.

The USDA offers even more opportunities for transitioning veterans.

If farming and ranching are not on your list of career goals, the USDA provides countless other opportunities for veterans seeking civilian employment “beyond the farm.” Recognizing the unique experience, strong work ethic, and diverse skill set that former servicemembers bring to the job market, the agency offers employment opportunities in a variety of fields, including:

  • Criminal justice
  • Soil conservation
  • Contracting and procurement
  • Information technology
  • Food inspection and public health
  • Firefighting
  • Finance
  • Economics

Visit the USDA veterans website to learn more about how the agency is helping military veterans through employment, education, and entrepreneurship initiatives.

Got a copy of your DD214? You’ll likely need it during the application process.

As with most benefits aimed at helping veterans and military families, you will need to provide proof of service before you get very far in the application process. For members of the Armed Forces (the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard), this means your DD214, or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.

Because things happen and you may not realize until the last minute that your DD214 is missing or you never received it, it’s a good idea to locate your copy before you get started.

Veteran-owned DD214Direct helps you get the documents you need, when you need them.

Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than competitors. We physically stand in line at the records repository and manually coordinate your order, freeing up your time and easing your worries about whether or not you will get your DD214. Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier.

Instead of having to download, print, sign and fax your document request form, you can submit your order directly through our website with the ease of e-signature technology from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Once we locate your DD214, we will email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.

Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.